J. W. Shelley


J. W. Shelley was built in 1968, is 730 feet long and flies the Canadian flag

John B. Aird
Previous names:
Algocen: 1968-2005
Valgocen: 2005-2008
J.W. Shelley: 2008-2012
Phoenix Star: 2012-2013
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Phoenix Star laid up in Toledo, Ohio, in October of 2012. In June of 2013 scrapping began.
2008Sep12_1943The Canadian flagged Algocen was launched in 1968, the second boat with that name for Algoma Central. Her name comes from the first four letters of Algoma and the first 3 letters of Central. She is 730 feet long and is powered by a 9,400-hp diesel engine. She has 17 hatches opening into 6 cargo holds, allowing for 28,000 tons of cargo. She started life loading grain but has also carried iron ore, cement, sand and other bulk cargos. Picture below was taken Thursday, September 12, 2008 while she was loading grain at the Peavey elevator in Superior.

In December, 2004, I wrote that the  Algocen was making her last trip to Duluth. After leaving here on December 18th of that year, she arrived in Montreal and was sold to a company called Recycling Technologies, not a good sign. She was then towed to New Jersey to be used as a spoils storage barge, also not a good sign. She needed a tow since she was not certified for ocean travel.

Just in the nick of time, the boat was sold to a Canadian company and brought back to the Great Lakes, rehabilitated and most notably, repainted a very bright blue and renamed J.W. Shelley. She was sold and renamed Phoenix Star in 2012. She worked for the remainder of that season, then was put into drydock, and scrapped in 2013.

Two pictures above and one below: the J. W. Shelley arrived Duluth on October 2, 2008 to load grain at CHS.
Below, two days later, she departed Duluth.
241126-1-017 I visited Algocen Captain Jens Hougesen while the ship was loading grain at CHS. He told me that this will be the last trip to Duluth for the Algocen, as she is scheduled to be scrapped.  He has been the skipper since June, 1997 and many of the crew of 21 have served a long time aboard the boat. See above for the rest of this story: a second life for the Algocen.
The Algocen was at the CHS dock loading wheat on November 26, 2004.
On April 15, 2003, the Algocen was at the St. Lawrence Cement plant discharging cement. The cement comes from the home office in Mississauga, Ontario, just outside Toronto. The cement is quarried and processed there, and shipped to several distribution points, most of which are in Canada. It takes about 4 days for a shipment to go from Mississauga to Duluth. The Duluth facility unloads cement from ships at their dock, stores the cement in their silos, and then sends the cement out by truck and by train to customers.
Above she arrives Duluth to discharge cement at St. Lawrence Cement on August 31, 2002; below she approaches the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on her departure on November 20, 2002
Above, the Algocen is discharging cement at St. Lawrence Cement.
While visiting the Algocen on December 10, 2001 while she was loading grain at General Mills Duluth, they had an emergency in the kitchen and I was called in to help out. It became quickly apparent that I had no idea how to fix their mixer so the cook and the First Mate took a shot at it while I recorded the event for posterity.
She is greeted by visitors as she arrived August 19, 2000
Above, the Algocen approaches the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge in May, 1998; below she is loading grain at the Cargill Elevator in August, 1998
The Algocen loading grain at Cargill in 1996

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